The worth of man is not even that of a tiny mustard seed, when he is bereft of the Grace of God, said Shri Nathji, but when he becomes the recipient of such Grace, his worth cannot be gauged even by the skies and the earth.
Shri Nathji would define the following words in Persian as the voice of a true devotee:
Bahaaye khesh mee daanam ba neeme jau nami arzad
Agar Maulaa karam saazad bahaaye be bahaa kar dard
I know my worth, it is not even that of half a mustard seed
But if it be the Grace of God, He can make me priceless
To illustrate the littleness of worldly greatness, Shri Nathji told the following parable:
There was a great and powerful King who went to pay his respects to a holy man, a Mahatma, who had moved into his city.
Tell me, Sire, how I may serve you! said King to the Mahatma.
There is nothing that I desire right now, said the Mahatma, but when I want something, I shall give you the opportunity to serve me.
The King returned to his place. And that night he had a dream. The Mahatma appeared in the dream: I want something, he said.
Your wish is my command, said the King, tell me what you desire, and I shall bring it forthwith.
I want half-a-paisa,” said the Mahatma.
Half-a-paisa! the King was startled. He had thousands of rupees in his treasury, and hundreds of rubies and diamonds, and gold and silver, but half-a-paisa, a half penny, he had not. He searched the place, but he could not find it.
Wait here, Sire, said the King, I will send someone to fetch it from outside.
No! No! said the Mahatma, I could have obtained it from outside had I so wished. Either give me the half-paisa from your own earnings or else I will leave!
The King despaired. And, then, suddenly an idea struck him.
Sell me! he said to the Mahatma, take my body and sell it! Surely someone will give you half-paisa for it!
The King fell down as if he were dead, and the Mahatma threw the corpse over his shoulder. He went from door to door, from the richest to the poorest of the inhabitants of the city. People would open their doors, stare with horror at the “corpse” and refuse to purchase it at any price whatsoever. Nobody wanted the body of the King! The King awakened from the dream in a state of stark terror.
He, the ruler of several domains, the sovereign of the land, was worth not even a half-paisa in the eyes of the world! A terrible depression overcame him. He ceased to receive any visitors. He took no interest in the affairs of the state. The apathy of the world and his own insignificance stared him in the face.
His courtiers sensed that the change that had come over the King had something to do with the Mahatma whom he had met earlier. They went to the Mahatma and brought him to the Palace. The King fell at the feet of the sage and said: I cannot serve you! I am worth nothing! Nothing!
The Mahatma understood and said: By acknowledging your own nothingness you have become worthy of the Grace of God! You have sensed the worthlessness of your ego–your bodily ‘I.’ But now that the Grace of God has filled you, your worth is immeasurable! You have undergone an awakening!
Shri Nathji’s parables touched the hearts of people. Here was the highest philosophy in the simplest of words. Intellectuals and commoners, the young and the old, men, women and children, all could understand these beautiful spiritual stories that punctuated Shri Nathji’s sermons. Indeed, the use of parables constituted the highest form of spiritual teaching.